I trudged down the stairs half asleep, hardly aware of my surroundings. So, of course, I didn't notice Viktoria hurtling at me from the direction of the kitchen.
"What-" I gasped as she slammed into me and dragged me back up the stairs. "What the hell are you doing?" I hissed, unsure whether or not it was safe to yell at her. Were there Strigoi in the house? I needed to protect the Belikovs, not hide and leave them defenseless!
"Shut up! He's here visiting. We didn't know he was coming! He surprised us just as you came downstairs! I figured you'd want a little bit of warning that he's sitting at the kitchen table." I lost the ability to breathe. I knew exactly who he was. Dimitri. The name tasted sour on my tongue.
"Does he know I'm here?" I asked, maybe I could sneak back to Novosibirsk without him noticing?
"He knows you're in Russia and you've visited, but he doesn't know you're currently here. We figured you wouldn't like to be surprised like that. He's suspicious though. Yeva won't even look at him. She spit on him when he went to hug her." Viktoria looked pained to speak of it and I pulled her into a hug, sad that I was tearing apart their family.
"I need to leave then. I'm getting in between all of you. It's not fair to him. I'm leaving, and I won't be returning. It causes all of you pain when I'm here. I'm ripping apart your family, something I promised myself I wouldn't do. I'm sorry, Vika." I murmured into her hair as I squeezed her to me.
"You're a part of this family too, Roza. Don't leave." She whispered, her eyes pleading to with me, begging me to stay. I studied her for a moment before solemnly nodding. The damage was already done, what good would it do to run away now?
"Fine, but I can't be around him now. I just can't, Vika. I'll be in my room, okay? How long is he staying?" Her face lit up at the idea of me staying. A playful grin spread across her face, a mischievous glint in her eye as she realized she had gotten exactly what she wanted.
"Three days. Queen Vasilissa will need an escort to a meeting in St. Petersburg and so he decided to arrive a few days early to visit us. You'll have to stay in my room though, so go grab your things and move them before he finishes eating. Hurry!" Viktoria squealed. I rushed back up the stairs, grabbing my few belongings before dashing into Viktoria's room right as Dimitri was making his way up the stairs. I listened to his voice calling out to Viktoria. Oh, it was like velvet. I had missed it so dearly. I pressed myself against the door, yearning to be in his arms once more. Before I knew it, the knob was turning. I jumped back, startled.
"Vika?" He called, I didn't answer. How could I? I stayed as still as possible, not daring to make a sound. Then I realized something, why was I afraid? Why was I hiding myself? To avoid the pain? That was weak. I wasn't weak. He didn't love me anymore and that was his problem. I didn't need to be loved by him, I was no longer dependent on him, and I most definitely didn't need him. That was the pep talk I gave myself as I opened the door.
"Hey there, Comrade." My words were uncharacteristically cold and emotionless. It was a struggle to keep my guardian mask in check as I took in every inch of his painfully gorgeous face. I studied him as he attempted to put his guardian mask on, failing miserably. I noticed his face drain of color, and his lips start to quiver, I noted his eyes widen and his look of utter shock. I smirked, knowing that I'd caught him completely off guard. I composed myself mentally before flashing my man-eater smile and brushing past him to go downstairs and grab breakfast.
As soon as I made it down the stairs I heard him start to follow. I decided on skipping breakfast, something I only did in emergencies. I grabbed my sneakers, thanking the Lord, or whoever was listening that I wore workout clothes to bed. I rushed out of the house, grabbing my iPod in the process, making sure to get out before he made it down the stairs.
I slammed the door behind me, pumping my legs as hard as they would go, fleeing the scene of the unearthing of my heartbreak. I felt my stomach churning as a painful, crushing pressure hit me smack in my chest, leaving me gasping for hair. I stopped dead in my tracks, the music pounding in my ears. I didn't even recognize Exit, Emergency by Houston Calls blaring through the headphones until now. I grimaced as I felt the desperation of reliving my heartbreak wash over me. The next three days were going to be absolute hell, but they'd sure as hell be entertaining.